Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rescue of the Handcartless Pioneers

If only that one act alone would guarantee my eternal salvation! But it was just too easy. . . .

My Aunt called when I was coming back down. I told her I may lose cell coverage because I was winding down the Skyline Drive from rescuing some boys who went camping up there and forgot that it was still winter. "You know, they're seventeen and think they know everything." She said she knew.

Our boy was looking forward to the short Spring break to go camping up by Bountiful Peak with some friends. One of the boys knew all about it and where the road went up and all surprised that the other two didn't know. I knew. I don't go up there in winter. I don't even like to camp much when it isn't winter.

They went up there yesterday about midday. My wife drove them up past the "B" until her tires started to slide then let them out and they started their hike up the road. We were looking forward to a night of empty-nesting, but something told me not to go out to a movie.

A little before dark the boy called his mom and said they were cold and thinking about coming down. I told her I'd go pick them up as I'd expected they might end up in our basement. She took them up because I'd been working. I did spend one loooong winter in Wyoming - when I was seventeen. So I know all about driving in snow and mud.

And it wasn't that bad. I got up to the 3.5 mile turn-around where my wife had dropped them off. I kept going. It was getting dark and I was getting spooked. But I kept going, slipping just a little in the slushy mud. It wasn't yet freezing and it had melted more than when my wife had gone up. I don't like the dark and I don't like cliffs. And I kept on.

Then I came to a sort of summit. The Skyline Drive was gated at that point and there was a large turn-out. I turned the car around, parked, got out, and breathed the fresh, chill air. It was all snow underfoot and no mud there. No sooner had I surveyed the scene of South Davis County glittering below than I heard an engine noise behind me. There were two 4-wheelers coming around the gate. Yep, I could make out riders and backpacks behind the drivers with their Star-Wars style helmets.

It was a lot more fun driving down with the rescued boys. I guffawed a bit as they told their stories of being ill-prepared. They were worn out by the hike and then so cold when they stopped and the body heat dropped. Their legs cramped up. I lectured a moderate amount on proper gear (wool, not cotton jeans - sheep don't get cold when it snows, etc.).

Blessed in our modern world by Forest Service roads, mini-vans, four-wheelers, and cell phones; with good food, warmth, and mom making hot chocolate close by, the lesson of what it may have been like for handcart pioneers ill-prepared and ill-equipped came home to those boys more than any Stake Pioneer Trek ever would.

Centerville Canyon in Spring snow above our home. Picture on top is of the heights above Bountiful.

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